Here's What We Played at EGX REZZED

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By Jack Gawn

For the uninitiated, EGX is the UK’s biggest gaming event of the year, typically taking place in the late autumn months showcasing all the upcoming games for the Christmas period and beyond.

EGX REZZED on the other hand, is the little brother to EGX that lets the smaller indie studios show off their games and technology in fascinating ways, as well some bigger companies to give their in-house smaller titles some time in the spotlight.

So, here’s a selection of the games I played at EGX REZZED, and what I thought of them.


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SteamWorld Quest

Another game in the SteamWorld series from Image & Form. This game is a card-based strategy game, similar in vein to Paper Mario Color Splash on the Wii U - but with a lot less painting cards!

The artwork is beautiful, with almost an enhanced version of the visuals that graced SteamWorld Dig 2. I was particularly fond of the appearance of the giant mushroom boss I faced in the demo.

The game features turn based strategy combat with interesting new elements depending which cards you use and mix together to create combos.

We’ve already played through SteamWorld Quest in it’s entirety, and we rather loved it. Be sure to check out our review!


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Gris

Spanish-developed Gris is a technical marvel. Beautiful visuals with hand drawn character art in a 2D world. The sound design also blew me away. The sound effects and music alone made this game stand out at the event.

Gameplay is fairly simple, but added challenge occurs as progress continues, adding different mechanics in every level to give variety and challenge to anyone playing.

This is another one that we’ve reviewed and loved, so make sure to give that a read to get our full thoughts. Needless to say, I’ll be picking this one up very soon.


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Phogs

I absolutely love dogs, so if you give me a game with dogs in it I’m always going to love it.

Phogs is a co-op style game where you can either play one player as two dogs with separate halves of the controller (L button and stick mainly or R button and stick) or play on two separate controllers as one dog each.

The dogs are connected “Cat-Dog” Style. 90 kids will get that, but for those of you that don’t, it’s a dog that has a face on both ends!

A cute, charming looking game - teamwork a must, and there’s some interesting co-op game mechanics throughout. One such example: one dog grabs hold of a light orb while the other can use it like a torch to light up areas of the map shrouded in darkness.

Single player seemed a bit lacking or frustrating, but this game is much more fun with others. Could be worth a look when it drops later this year.


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Hamsterdam: Paws of Justice

This rodent-centric title is a rhythm combat game involving a hamster. The name’s great, and the gameplay works in a similar way to boxing on Wii Sports, mixed with a little Quick Time Event action. There’s also lots of different customisation in the form of clothing for the hamster as you progress through the game.

Watching Richard from our friends over at Switch Players mag play this was one of the highlights for REZZED for me. Seeing him flap his arms away to control a Karate-kicking, fighting hamster was hilariously surreal. It could well end up being more of a workout than a game!

I do have special praise for the developers there though they were extremely enthusiastic about the game and told a great story about the plot and how you progress. A team to watch out for in the future.


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Kunai

One of the surprises at REZZED for me. Low-detailed visuals, but a brilliantly executed Metroidvania style game.

It uses only 3 to 4 colours in the display altogether, with red in particular highlighting anything linked to aggression, such as weapons and enemies. Myself and Gary played a section each, and we both agreed that it reminded us of old school Gameboy/Gameboy Advance style graphics. It fits well on the switch.

I also loved the technical ability required to take down the bosses. Upgrades changed gameplay immensely, such as picking up two hook shots to reach and hang from the ceiling. This particularly ability was needed to fight the boss in the demo. I’m looking forward to purchasing and playing through this one for sure.


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Heave Ho

Devolver Digital had an incredible set up at REZZED, especially if you love the Nintendo Switch. There are plenty of exciting games coming from them, including this crazy, 4 player co-op experience.

Solid team work is required to move from one spot to another in each stage, grabbing each others hands or body parts with each button press or hold. It’s a hilarious game and works well in a party co-op atmosphere.

Will definitely be a good one to have on hand when you’ve got a few friends round.


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Katana Zero

Another 2D side-scroller platformer combat game. We were overindulged with excellent side-scrollers across REZZED.

The game uses slow down mechanics to pass through objects and fight enemies. The presentation is great, appearing as though it was being recorded on a VHS camcorder - even the pause screen looked like an old blue screen you’d see on those handicams from the 90s.

You can re-watch replays of how you solved each stage and ‘edit the videos’ (ie: retry) if you didn’t like it. There are some challenging gimmicks and an intriguing story following a young girl on a Hitman-like path and being treated by a ‘Doctor’ for a disease who also gives you missions.

I’m curious to find out more, luckily the game is out now on the eShop!


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My friend Pedro

This was an incredibly popular game at REZZZED following the Nindies Direct, and there were bananas with faces everywhere. The titular fruit of this game essentially plays a Navi type role, guiding how you play and giving you helpful tips as you go.

It’s an interesting set up, with a difficult to master control system, but overall a very fun game that definitely deserves a playthrough.

Shoutout to Simon, an actor friend from my old school who was there dressed as the protagonist in the game. Some people get all the best jobs!


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Little Friends: Dogs & Cats

Remember when you got all those old PC game ports from bargain bins in the UK? Chances are they were from a company called Sold Out Software. Well they’re working on games themselves now and this team have basically made the best Nintendogs clone since… well Nintendogs!

As a lover of dogs (as previously mentioned in this article) the game is adorable. You can get little hats and accessories for your cat or dogs and play games, feed them and more! Why wouldn’t you buy this? DOGS!

We only saw it running in portable mode as the touch screen controls were pretty much a requirement for this game, but I’m interested to see how they build on what was shown in the demo.

That said, the thought of taking my Switch into work and getting away with having a virtual pet dog in the office is a winner for me.


And that’s a wrap on everything Switch related I checked out at REZZED. It was an excellent few days, with big expectations for some of these games. If you want to ask me any questions about these games or any of the other non-Switch titles I played, drop me a line over on Twitter!